A Manifesto for listening

Music Listening: An Incomplete Manifesto

by Greg Anderson & Elizabeth Joy Roe

  1. Allow music to transform you. The prerequisites for transformation: the openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them.
  2. Embrace the new. It takes courage to depart from familiarity and escape your comfort zone: only with change is there life.
  3. Make every encounter new. Every listening adventure – no matter how seemingly familiar or repetitive – is new. All musical occasions are an opportunity for transformation, growth, and discovery.
  4. The musical experience is yours. You live it. You create it. Your engagement is a vital ingredient.
  5. If you are bored, see points 1, 2, 3, and 4.
  6. Woah. The music doesn’t always happen where we think it ought to. Instead, it happens somewhere else – in the silence, in the reverb on the walls, in the performer’s gasp for air. Music comes charged with a palpable energy created by its surroundings at that very moment. Under any other circumstance, it would be different.
  7. Go deep. Really deep. Some treasures are freebies, but many more are buried in the sand, perceived only under the microscope, or clouded in the murky depths of the mind. The deeper you go, the more likely you will find something of value.
  8. Listen as if it were the last time your ears could hear. Savor it.
  9. Nature is beautiful because it is untouched by humans, but music is beautiful because it is a human creation. Music is direct interaction with the human spirit.
  10. Be open to other life, whether it be the composer’s life, the performer’s life, or the lives of those around you (…yes, even the noisemaker to your left). Other people’s lives are more weird and wonderful than we could ever imagine. By absorbing the musical complexity of the human condition, you will walk away transformed.
  11. Join the party. Music is an interactive event that serves our primordial need to share in something greater than ourselves.
  12. As E.M. Forster said, “Only connect.” Music is a pliant collaboration actively involving all participating factors: performers, composers, listeners, and musical elements. Relish the conflict, euphoria, frustration, and innumerable creative possibilities that arise with collaboration.
  13. Liberate yourself from technological trappings and to-do lists. Just be present with and within the music.
  14. Close your eyes. Focus on the sonic essence of the music.
  15. Feel the music course through your body. One of the most amazing sensations when listening to music is the “shiver.” Experiences with music can be thrillingly visceral.
  16. Lack judgment and postpone criticism. Free yourself from labels.
  17. If something strikes you as strange or incomprehensible, don’t panic. Welcome the confusion and enjoy the music without preconceived ideas or predetermined goals.
  18. Drift. Allow the music to guide your listening. Explore aimlessly.
  19. Think for yourself. Take chances and mess up. The well-intentioned guidance of others doesn’t always lead you in the direction you need to go because music is intensely personal and thus impacts each listener differently.
  20. Music is not universal. It is a myth to believe that there is one “correct” way to respond to a musical experience. Human beings are too sophisticated and music is too subtle to be whittled down in this manner.
  21. Work the metaphor. Beyond the obvious exists a myriad of alternate meanings and interpretations.
  22. Listen for polarities. Music is at once mundane and surreal, cerebral and sensual, trivial and significant, ephemeral and everlasting, raw and refined, profane and sacred, etc., etc.
  23. Laugh. We, Greg and Liz, laugh our way through rehearsals. Joy is a natural reaction to the realization of overwhelming, authentic communication.
  24. ______________________. (Allow space for the unknown.)
  25. Abandon any notion of “clock time” – you may find your sense of time shifting. Some pieces or experiences may even strike you as utterly timeless.
  26. If you are bored, use it to your listening advantage. Strange and marvelous things happen in unusual states of being.
  27. Rely on gut instinct. Go where it feels good


Framework Humanties Courses at Harvard


The Humanities include a range of disciplines that explore the ways in which people have articulated their understanding of themselves and the world. Humanities courses are taught by teams of faculty from several departments and fulfill requirements in Humanities concentrations and General Education.

The Frameworks in the Humanities courses, which include Humanities 11a: The Art of Looking, Humanities 11b: The Art of Listening, and Humanities 11c: The Art of Reading, introduce students to fundamental problems, histories, and critical methods that prepare students for more advanced work in a wide variety of concentrations. The Frameworks courses include an attention to exemplary texts, sounds, images, and objects and address how basic acts of looking, listening, and reading can disclose unexpected cultural, historical, and aesthetic richness.

other link with video


Mapping the humanities

The Human Turn examines the new call for knowledge of the human in the natural sciences, the life sciences and the social sciences. The common drive is the realisation that knowledge of the human plays a decisive factor in handling societal challenges and the advancement of science. Focusing on a number of exemplary interdisciplinary fields such as political science, welfare science, health science, environmental science and the science of management, The Human Turn investigates the consequences and potentials of this new human turn. Participants include Kirsten Hastrup, Uffe Juul Jensen, Anne-Marie Mai, Sverre Raffnsøe and Morten Raffnsøe-Møller. For further information, see www.human-turn.cbs.dk.

Humanomics is an interdisciplinary research programme that studies the historical, conceptual and institutional dynamics of the humanities. The programme seeks to provide insight into which humanist theories, methods and concepts that are operative in today’s science system, and in doing so seeks to develop an empirically-based philosophy of the humanities. Participants include Vincent F. Hendricks, Andreas Roepstorff, Simo Køppe, Svend Østergård, Claus Emmeche, Esther Oluffa Pedersen, Uffe Østergård, Frederik Stjernfelt and David Budtz Pedersen. For further information, see www.mapping-humanities.dk


Both research programmes are supported by the VELUX FOUNDATION as integrating initiatives within its humanities programme. The intention is to support the development of a research-based debate about the potentials and challenges for the humanities and human sciences. For further information about the VELUX FOUNDATION’S humanities initiative seewww.veluxfonden.dk or contact Henrik Tronier, htr@veluxfondene.dk


Framework for next generation science education



1 Scientific and Engineering Practices

1. Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)

2. Developing and using models

3. Planning and carrying out investigations

4. Analyzing and interpreting data

5. Using mathematics and computational thinking

6. Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)

7. Engaging in argument from evidence

8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

2 Crosscutting Concepts

1. Patterns

2. Cause and effect: Mechanism and explanation

3. Scale, proportion, and quantity

4. Systems and system models

5. Energy and matter: Flows, cycles, and conservation

6. Structure and function

7. Stability and change

3 Disciplinary Core Ideas

Physical Sciences

PS1: Matter and its interactions

PS2: Motion and stability: Forces and interactions

PS3: Energy

PS4: Waves and their applications in technologies for information transfer

Life Sciences

LS1: From molecules to organisms: Structures and processes

LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, energy, and dynamics

LS3: Heredity: Inheritance and variation of traits LS4: Biological evolution: Unity and diversity

Earth and Space Sciences

ESS1: Earth’s place in the universe

ESS2: Earth’s systems

ESS3: Earth and human activity Engineering, Technology, and Applications of Science

ETS1: Engineering design

ETS2: Links among engineering, technology, science, and society